The '''Smithsonian Institution''' ( ), established in 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States
Originally organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.
Termed "the nation's attic"
for its eclectic holdings of 138 million items,
the Institution's nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo include historical and architectural landmarks, mostly located in the Washington D.C.|District of Columbia
Additional facilities are located in Arizona
, New York City
, Texas, and Panama
. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 U.S. states|states
, Puerto Rico
, and Panama